Texas Politics - Voting, Campaigns, and Elections
  1. Republican Dominance
  2. Looking Ahead
Types of Elections in Texas
  1. Getting on the Ballot
  2. Winning Public Office
Voting Requirements, Patterns
  1. Requirements
  2. Patterns
Voting and Non-voting
  1. Making a Difference?
  2. Why People Vote
Barriers to Voting
  1. Decision-making
  2. Information/Transaction Costs
  3. Historical Barriers
Two Parties and Voter Turnout
  1. Development
  2. Voters
Political Campaigns
  1. Rising Campaign Costs
  2. Regulating Contributions
  3. Impact of Money in Elections
Polling and Campaigns
Mobilization and Campaigns
  1. Endorsements
  2. Advertising
  3. Events and Speeches
  4. Grassroots Mobilization
10  Conclusion
  1. Print-friendly format
  2. Key words and phrases
  3. Multimedia resources
Mark White Mark White on reaching out to Texas voters
video 256k90k56k
Fundraising figures for legislative candidates Congressional and Texas legislative fundraising
Talking Politics: stump speech On the stump (stump speeches)
7.    Political Campaigns

The rest of the chapter covers three elements of campaigning: fundraising, polling, and mobilizing of voter support through endorsements, advertising, and public appearances.

Since the 1950s, politics in the U.S. has undergone a long-run transformation from labor-intensive campaigning (based on people and mass organizations), to capital-intensive campaigning (based on technology and mass communications). The electoral system evolved in the twentieth century with the development of mass media, and it continues to evolve in sometimes surprising directions. Now more than ever, candidates, parties, and interest groups rely on new techniques and technology for political campaigning, in the endless quest for an edge over opponents.

Electoral campaigns in Texas have become increasingly expensive over the past two decades. Changes in campaign technology, national politics, and the state's economic development have together maintained upward pressure on campaign budgets. This chapter's feature Major Party Congressional and Texas Legislative Fundraising conveys how much money state and national legislative candidates now raise to run for office.

Lawmakers have attempted, both on the national and state levels, to regulate campaign contributions. But these efforts tend to be of limited effectiveness. The laws are generally lenient. Regulatory enforcement is weak (whether by the Federal Election Commission in federal elections or by the Texas Ethics Commission in state elections). And parties, campaigns, and donors have found ways to circumvent regulations. The following sections look at some of the causes of rising campaign costs, at the regulation of campaign financing and spending, and at the impact of money on elections in Texas.

Texas Politics:
© 2006, Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services
University of Texas at Austin